Former name of Jan Kempdorp. Named after the region in southern Spain, which was the ancient maritime kingdom of Tarshish. Jan Kempdorp was laid out on the Farm Andalusia and that's were the first name came from! During the Second World War, it was the site of a concentration camp housing German men, regarded as potentially dangerous by the authorities. The first Settlers bought plots in 1838 and the Town was proclaimed in 1953 and named after General Jan Kemp, a former Minister of Lands. Municipal status was attained in 1967. Originally, the border between the Cape and Transvaal provinces, ran through the Town, making it the only Town in South Africa that was in two Provinces. This also led to confusion about the administration until in 1964 it was decided by Parliament that the Town would fall in the Cape Province.
New Dictionary of South African Place Names by Peter E. Raper.